Tag Archives: Dave Thomas

The Set of 400: #171 – My Favorite Striped Flying Dog

Today! Because there wasn’t much to do. All the bowling alleys and donut shops had been wrecked –

Strange Brew (1983)

Directed by Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas

Starring Rick Moranis (x3), Dave Thomas (x2), Max von Sydow (x3), Paul Dooley (x4), Lynne Griffin, Angus MacInnes, Brian McConnachie, Jill Frappier, Mel Blanc (x2)

Does your average person point back to a period where they watched a lot of television and refer to this as a particularly formative time of their life? I’ve hung out with a lot of strange theater/writer types in my day, so most of them seemed to have a story like this, but I don’t know about regular people. Is this common? Well, for me, the brief corridor of time in the early ’90s when Nick at Nite ran half hour Best of Saturday Night Lives and half hour SCTVs was probably it for me. In addition to the overwhelming amount of TV I watched at all other times of the day, this hour block every weeknight seems responsible for a lot of my thinking about comedy, enjoyment of it, and lamenting that they don’t make ’em like they used to.

I miss this era all the time

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The Set of 400: #287 – My Favorite Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do

Today! Because our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world –

Stripes (1981)

Directed by Ivan Reitman

Starring Bill Murray (x3), Harold Ramis (x2), John Candy (x5), Warren Oates (x2), Sean Young, John Larroquette (x3), P.J. Soles, Judge Reinhold, Joe Flaherty (x2), Dave Thomas, Timothy Busfield (x2), Donald Gibb (x3), Bill Paxton (x3), Robert J. Wilke, William Lucking, Conrad Dunn, Antone Pagan

Stripes gathered up half the cast of SCTV, added Bill Murray, had them join the Army, and the whole thing worked. Okay, the first half of the movie is the more memorable one – the second half has them steal a tank and invade Czechoslovakia, sort of, so yeah, if you mostly just recall the basic training sequences, you’re excused. And that part of the movie is terrific, Murray’s John Winger butting heads with Warren Oates’ Sgt. Hulka, the misfit group getting in trouble and rebounding to pull it together, that great graduation drill. Also, as the only movie where Murray and Candy share any significant screen time, Stripes would’ve been significant no matter what. But thankfully it still holds up, for the most part, as these comedians in this era made rare missteps.

Great, messy times!

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